Liberty jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but the visiting No. 12/12 Baylor Bears scored seven straight runs on their way to an 8-3 win over the Lady Flames, Thursday at Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium.
With the win, Baylor improves to 12-3 on the season. Liberty falls to 14-6, after hosting a nationally-ranked opponent for the first time since 2007 (No. 17 Virginia Tech). The game was the first contest of the 2018 Liberty Softball Classic.
Baylor's Maddison Kettler batted 3-for-4 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored, while Taylor Ellis and Caitlin Charlton had two hits apiece.
Amber Bishop and Tori Zavodny both went 2-for-4, with Bishop hitting a triple and Zavodny recording a double.
Regan Green (4-0) earned the win for Baylor, allowing one run on three hits, walking one and striking out two in five innings of work. Goose McGlaun pitched the final two innings, allowing two unearned runs on three hits and striking out one.
Julia DiMartino (8-4) drew the loss, giving up eight runs on 10 hits, walking five and striking out two.
Amber Bishop tripled to left with one out in the bottom of the first. Zavodny followed with a RBI single to right. Green retired the next two batters, sending the game into the second inning with Liberty leading, 1-0.
DiMartino hit Carlee Wallace with a pitch to start the second. Kettler followed with a double down the left-field line, putting runners on second and third. Ellis tied the game with a single to left, going to second on the throw. Charlton executed a squeeze bunt, singling in Kettler. Nicky Dawson then made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly, before DiMartino fanned outfielder Jessie Scroggins to end the threat.
Shelby Friudenberg led off the third with a single left center. DiMartino walked McGlaun, and Kettler came through with a two-out RBI double to center, boosting Baylor's lead to 4-1. Hannah Smith made it 5-1 with an RBI infield single. Kettler then stole home in a double-steal play. Smith was thrown out, but not before Kettler scored giving the Bears a 6-1 lead.
Green plunked Liberty's Autumn Bishop with one out in the bottom of the third. But a a pair of fine defensive plays by the visitors brought the inning to a close.
Baylor's Charlton lined a double to center field to open the fourth inning. A sacrifice bunt sent her to third, before she scored on a sacrifice fly for a 7-1 advantage. DiMartino got out of the inning by inducing McGlaun to fly out to right.
Liberty's Jaclyn Amader led off the bottom of the fifth with a sharp single to right. Green set down the next three batters, on a strikeout and two flyouts to strand the runner.
Zavodny roped a double to left center off of reliever McGlaun to start the home half of the sixth. With two outs, Madison Via reached on an error, extending the inning. Deidra See grounded the third, but the Bears' Wallace's throw was errant, allowing Zavodny and Via to score, trimming the Baylor lead to 7-3.
The first two batters in the seventh drew walks, and a one-out single by Kettler loaded the bases for Baylor. Ellis then singled on the infield, scoring a run from third, before McGlaun was erased trying to score from second.
Autumn Bishop and Amber Bishop hit back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the seventh. Zavodny then sent a bloop out into short right field that second baseman Dawson caught and threw to second for a game-ending double play.
The Lady Flames will play twice tomorrow on the second day of the Liberty Softball Classic, taking on Ohio at 2 p.m. before playing against Delaware in a 4 p.m. game.